The harbour of Malmö where the hovercraft terminal is located

Dismantling rather than demolition for Malmö’s hovercraft ex-terminal

Dismantling rather than demolition for Malmö’s hovercraft ex-terminal

It takes longer but it is more climate-friendly

At the start of this month, the relevant authorities in Malmö announced that they are starting with the demolition of the hovercraft terminal in Smörkajen, built in 1984 for speedy water connections to Copenhagen’s airport and now no longer in use.

Demolition, however, is probably not the right word here since the experts have explained that this won’t be a quick job done with a sledgehammer. Instead, the goal is to carefully scrutinize which parts and materials of the building can be reused, repurposed and recycled in order to minimize the environmental impact of demolition to the minimum.

Rethinking the construction industry

The hovercraft terminal is a building with valuable content in the form of sheet metal, stone and steel. These are raw materials that do not deteriorate over time and can be given new life.

The City of Malmö's ambition is to work with recycling in all demolition going forward. It is an important part of reducing the city's climate footprint and contributing to the city's goal of climate-neutral construction by 2030.

Climate-neutral means a net-zero emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This also means that the emissions that occur must be able to be absorbed by the ecological cycle, carbon storage in materials or with technical solutions and thus not contribute to the greenhouse effect. Recycling is an important key there. From the hovercraft terminal, much – even if not all - material can live on.

In the city, we take care of some (of the material) ourselves, for example, lighting that can be converted to LED, cable ladders and suspended ceiling tiles. It will be used in other premises that we manage. A company will take care of all the facade sheet metal and some sheet metal from the building's roof to make signs and there are other property owners who have shown interest in, among other things, doors and stone floors,” explained Anna Bernstad, sustainability strategist in the city of Malmö.

She added: “We also work closely with Malmö Återbyggdepå, which sells to private individuals and construction contractors - so little bits of the hovercraft terminal can end up with different Malmö residents in the future.

The dismantling of the hovercraft terminal will thus serve as a pilot project to test the limits of reusability in construction. Doing demolition in this way is, naturally, a slower, more complex and more expensive process, however, in the long term, its benefits outweigh the immediate costs. However, new legislation in the city already requires contractors to identify reusable material before tearing down a structure.



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